Barclays chief executive Jes Staley investigated by FCA for links with Jeffrey Epstein


Barclays’ American chief executive Jes Staley is being investigated over his close relationship with Jeffrey Epstein who he visited in Florida when he was serving a jail term for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Boston-born Mr Staley also admits taking a sailing trip with his wife Debora to the paedophile’s Caribbean hideaway dubbed ‘paedo island’ in the months before he joined the Canary Wharf-based bank – but insists he cut with all contact with him after that.

Prince Andrew’s child abuser friend Epstein also allegedly funneled dozens of wealthy clients to Mr Staley during his time running JP Morgan’s private bank, where customers must have assets of at least $10million.

Barclays today told the London Stock Exchange that their CEO has been ‘transparent’ about the pair’s ‘close’ but ‘professional’ relationship.

But Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Conduct Authority are investigating whether he has disclosed the full truth about his ties to the convicted sex offender after reports by Bloomberg and the New York Times last year claimed they were ‘good friends’.

Bankers who fail the FCA’s ‘fit and proper’ test can be fined – or in the most serious cases banned from Britain’s £1trillion ($1.3trillion) financial service industry, which would make it impossible for Mr Staley to continue in Barclays’ top job. 

The investigation announcement in London came on the morning the bank revealed its pre-tax profits for the past year jumped 25 per cent to £4.4 billion – and as a result Mr Staley has been rewarded with a bumper pay packet of £5.93million ($7.7million) in 2019 – up from £3.86 million-a-year ($5million) 12 months earlier. 

Barclays' chief executive Jes Staley (pictured in the bank's London HQ) is being investigated over his relationship with US convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Barclays has said its board believes Mr Staley has been sufficiently transparent about his ties to Epstein

Barclays’ chief executive Jes Staley (pictured in the bank’s London HQ) is being investigated over his relationship with US convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Mr Staley e convicted sex offender's 'paedo island' in the Caribbean on his own 90ft yacht - better known as Little St. James in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Mr Staley e convicted sex offender’s ‘paedo island’ in the Caribbean on his own 90ft yacht – better known as Little St. James in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Barclays’ American ‘casino banker’ boss is sailing expert who warned $16m-a-year in US before moving to London

Mr Staley, pictured arriving in Downing Street for a meeting in 2018, has the full backing of Barclays despite a UK probe into his historical links with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Mr Staley, pictured arriving in Downing Street for a meeting in 2018, has the full backing of Barclays despite a UK probe into his historical links with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Jes Staley’s selection as Barclays’ new boss in 2015 was seen as a clear signal Barclays wants to become a global powerhouse in investment banking again.

Critics warned it was reverting to the ‘fast buck’ culture cultivated by disgraced former boss Bob Diamond, who built Barclays investment bank into a major force before he was forced to resign in 2012.  

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He was overlooked in favour of Mancunian Antony Jenkins, who focussed on retail banking such as savings and mortgages.

Critics warned it was reverting to the ‘fast buck’ culture cultivated by disgraced former boss Bob Diamond, who built Barclays investment bank into a major force before he was forced to resign in 2012.

Insiders insist Mr Staley is very different to the lavishly paid Mr Diamond, but the men have strikingly similar backgrounds in investment banking.

Born James but known as Jes, Mr Staley began life in Boston, Massachusetts, less than an hour’s drive from Mr Diamond’s home town of Concord. Both studied economics before long, successful careers in investment banking. Mr Staley spent 34 years at Wall Street giant JP Morgan, eventually running its vast investment banking division. He collected a $16million pay package in 2012, then joined US hedge fund BlueMountain the following year.

Like Mr Diamond, Mr Staley enjoys the trappings of a super-rich lifestyle, with two luxury homes in New York. The father of two is a keen sailor on the family’s custom-made 90ft yacht named Bequia, after the Caribbean island where he honeymooned with wife Debbie.

Insiders insist Mr Staley is very different to the lavishly paid Mr Diamond, but the men have strikingly similar backgrounds in investment banking. 

Mr Staley, who was born in Boston, Massachusetts, spent three decades at JP Morgan, then moved to Brazil, where he met his wife Debbie, before becoming Barclays supremo in 2015.

But he has been dogged by his relationship with Prince Andrew’s paedophile friend who hanged himself in jail last year ahead of a trial for allegedly sex-trafficking underage girls. 

Mr Staley told Bloomberg TV today: ‘It’s well known in the press that I have had a long standing professional, or had a longstanding professional relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. It began in 2000 when I was asked to run JP Morgan’s private bank and he was already a client of the bank at that time.

‘The investigation is actually focused on transparency and whether I was transparent with and open with the bank, and with the board, with respect to my relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. And indeed it’s clear in my own mind that going all the way back to 2015 when I joined Barclays, I have been very transparent with the bank and very open and willing to discuss the relationship that I had with him’.

The British bank also backed him today. 

In a statement to the stock market, Barclays said this morning: ‘As has been widely reported, earlier in his career Mr Staley developed a professional relationship with Mr Epstein.

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‘In the summer of 2019, in light of the renewed media interest in the relationship, Mr Staley volunteered and gave to certain executives, and the chairman, an explanation of his relationship with Mr Epstein.’

Barclays added that the boss said he had had no contact with Epstein since joining his current employer in December 2015.

The bank added: ‘The relationship between Mr Staley and Mr Epstein was the subject of an inquiry from the Financial Conduct Authority, to which the company responded.

‘The FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority subsequently commenced an investigation, which is ongoing, into Mr Staley’s characterisation to the company of his relationship with Mr Epstein and the subsequent description of that relationship in the company’s response to the FCA.’      

Boston-born Staley, who made millions as a hedge fund manager and former high-flyer at Wall Street giant JPMorgan, was chosen as the man to replace ousted Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins and took over just before Christmas 2015.

Months earlier he visited Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands, according to the Financial Times.      

After getting the top job at Barclays it was claimed the American banker was secretly backed for the job in 2012 by convicted sex offender Epstein – a friend of the Duke of York who was sentenced to more than a year behind bars in 2008.

The Mail on Sunday claimed that Mr Epstein began pushing Mr Staley forward for the Barclays job in 2012.

The pair are said to have met in Mr Epstein’s plush New York home that year and a photograph from  2011 also showed the men together at the mansion with Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates.

Boston-born Mr Staley is said to have been introduced to American hedge fund boss Glenn Dubin, centre, whose wife, former Miss Sweden Eva (left) went out with Epstein for 11 years and the paedophile is said to have told friends he wanted to marry their daughter Celina (right)

Boston-born Mr Staley is said to have been introduced to American hedge fund boss Glenn Dubin, centre, whose wife, former Miss Sweden Eva (left) went out with Epstein for 11 years and the paedophile is said to have told friends he wanted to marry their daughter Celina (right)

Mr Epstein, who made a fortune from his investment firm J Epstein & Co, was said to have been furious when Mr Staley was overlooked for the Barclays job after fellow American Bob Diamond (pictured) lost his job in 2012

Mr Epstein, who made a fortune from his investment firm J Epstein & Co, was said to have been furious when Mr Staley was overlooked for the Barclays job after fellow American Bob Diamond (pictured) lost his job in 2012

Mr Staley had been touted for the top job at Barclays threee years before he got it after fellow American Bob Diamond left under a cloud following the Libor-fixing scandal.  

Mr Epstein, who made a fortune from his investment firm J Epstein & Co, was said to have been furious when Mr Staley was overlooked for the job.

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A report at the time claimed Epstein described Briton Antony Jenkins, who was then head of the retail division at Barclays, as an ‘internal dweeb’ as he got the job when the bank decided not to go for another American.

It was also claimed that then Chancellor George Osborne was blocking Mr Staley’s move to Barclays in 2012 and Mr Epstein wanted the get the Chancellor to change his mind.

Jeffrey Epstein reportedly wanted to marry Celina Dubin to have a $50million trust and would be able to avoid inheritance taxes but changed his mind before his death

 Jeffrey Epstein reportedly wanted to marry Celina Dubin to have a $50million trust and would be able to avoid inheritance taxes but changed his mind before his death

The Treasury and Bank of England were said to be uncomfortable with another ‘casino’ banker taking the reins at Barclays following the departure of Mr Diamond.

Former Barclays chairman Sir David Walker – who was also seen as an obstacle to Mr Staley getting the job in 2012 – also left. 

According to the New York Times Epstein had funneled dozens of wealthy clients to Mr. Staley and Wall Street powerhouse JP Morgan bank.

They also had a mutual acquaintance in hedge fund boss Glenn Dubin, who was said to have been introduced to Mr Staley by Epstein. 

Mr Dubin’s wife, Swedish model Eva Andersson Dubin, started dating Epstein in the 1980s for 11 years.

In December last year it emerged Jeffrey Epstein reportedly told associates that he considered marrying the younger daughter of his ex-girlfriend Eva and Mr Dubin, who she married in 1994. 

Epstein said he wanted Celina to inherit some of his reputed $500million fortune, including his private island in the Caribbean, and marriage would help avoid inheritance taxes.

That year, Epstein named Celina as a beneficiary, but she was removed in 2015 before the Dubin family was aware that she was listed.

After Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a child for prostitution, the Dubins’ wrote an email to his probation officer saying they were ‘100% comfortable’ with Epstein interacting with Celina.

However, the family appeared to publicly distance themselves from Epstein after his arrest in July last year.

Davidson Goldin, the Dubin family spokesperson, echoed the sentiment in a statement.

‘Glenn saw him perhaps once a year in large group settings and had no business interactions with him whatsoever after 2007. Eva and Celina Dubin accepted less than a handful of invitations to gatherings that included the founder of Microsoft and a DNA pioneer.’

‘The Dubins are horrified by Jeffrey Epstein’s despicable conduct. Had they been aware of it, they would have cut off all ties instantly,’ he said.



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